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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Olmert sold out country

Olmert sold out country,7340,L-3333579,00.html

PM again willing to sacrifice security, land for sake of temporary quiet

Ehud Yatom Published: 11.28.06, 23:16

The ongoing conflict with our enemies has many rounds. Only four months ago
another war ended - and sadly it is not the last one - without a clear
decision. The ceasefire declared following several weeks of fighting at the
Lebanese front and the northern home front left us beaten and with the kind of
low national morale we haven't seen in years.

The war's objectives, as declared loudly and arrogantly by the political
leadership, were not achieved at all: Our sons remained in cruel captivity,
Hizbullah was not disarmed, and the damage it sustained was superficial.
Nasrallah, following several weeks of silence, returned to the public squares
as a victor.

Since the truce went into effect on the northern border, Hizbullah has not
ceased to rearm itself, under the deliberately closed eyes of the South
Lebanon army and United Nations troops. The group is quickly regaining its
strike capabilities against Israeli military and civilian targets. According
to foreign reports, Hizbullah has rehabilitated itself to a significant
extent, and within a few months will be ready to open another round of war.

The ceasefire in the north, reached before we achieved our objectives, proved
to our enemies that it is indeed possible to successfully confront us on the
conventional battlefield, which was unclear at all before this war. We
conveyed weakness and limpness through this move, as well as lack of
leadership and confusion. The enemy interpreted this as surrender, as opposed
to the results of all our previous wars.

And yet this serious error is again taking place before our eyes. Even in the
fight against Qassam fire on our southern border, in the wake of ongoing
attacks on Sderot and western Negev communities, and after we unsuccessfully
attempted to take care of the launchers, we left the Gaza Strip embarrassed
and weak.

This was in complete opposition to the position advocated by the army, which
waited for an order from the politicians to launch a required, wide-scale
operation to suppress the threat of terror. Sderot remained deserted after
many residents left it in light of the Qassam anxiety and without being
provided with IDF protection as required.

Truce instead of all-out campaign

The ceasefire in the south marks yet another dangerous deterioration in the
slippery, contagious slope of weakness and limpness, and also constitutes an
irreversible blow to our power of deterrence.

The Palestinians realize today more than ever that we have no operational
solutions for terrorism launched from their territories, and for them the
victory is unequivocal. They realize that in the south as well we prefer a
temporary, false and intoxicating quiet, which allows them to boost their
forces, equip them, and recruit new fighters for the Hamas army in order to
prepare them for the next rounds.

And so, we left Gaza without achieving even one mission objective. Departing
from the territory before we took over the entire Strip - from the ruins of
Elei Sinai, Dugit and Nissanit and all the way to the Philadelphi Route - and
without banishing and defeating terror elements, will make it clear to the
Palestinians that they will gain what they want and continue to be granted
land in exchange for nothing only through terror and war.

The abandonment of the Philadelphi Route to the mercy of the Egyptians, again,
will lead to the continuation of arms smuggling. Until when will we continue
to be hit without hitting back? Until when will we escape and show restraint?

At Sdeh Boker, where late Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, our first leader
and the man who built this country is buried, Ehud Olmert sold the illusion of
peace and quiet between us and the Palestinians.

He sold it cheaply and without getting anything in exchange. He again made it
clear that in the absence of leadership, he sacrificed the State of Israel's
territory and security on the altar of illusion of a truce whose one and only
goal is to provide those who seek to exterminate us with a timeout and oxygen.

The timing of the prime minister's speech, in the wake of two wars we failed
to win, conveys leadership weakness and an aspiration for a false, dangerous
quiet that will see our enemies rise against us at the timing that is good for

While I write these lines, two Qassam missiles landed in the Negev. This is
clearly the Palestinian answer to the speech delivered by Olmert, the deluded
seller of illusions. Instead of pledging to hand over land and release
terrorist murders in exchange for a mirage, we should have launched an all-out
military campaign in the Strip to regain our leadership and power of

The writer served in senior Shin Bet posts and as a Likud Knesset member

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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